• A vision of what the beach could be, based on engineering descriptions.
    The Memorial Beach Vision
    A vision of what Kaimana Beach could be...
  • An aerial view of the Natatorium as it exists today.
    The Crumbling Natatorium
    ...the Natatorium in 2004...
  • The Crumbling Natatorium
    ...the Natatorium in 2012. Image: Google Maps
  • A rendering of what the Memorial could be. Image from the City & County of Honolulu.
    The Memorial Beach Vision
    Image: City & County of Honolulu
  • A rendering of what the beach could be. Image from the City & County of Honolulu.
    The Memorial Beach Vision
    Image: City & County of Honolulu

New beach best idea for Natatorium future


The following is a letter to the editor published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 7, 2016.

In a debate last week, Honolulu mayoral candidates were asked what to do with the Natatorium.

Charles Djou said, “Renovate.”

The city’s estimated cost for a full renovation: $70 million, plus the high ongoing costs of complying with modern anti-MRSA health standards.

Peter Carlisle said keep whatever can be saved, an idea fraught with many problems identified by the blue ribbon Natatorium Task Force in 2009.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he would follow the Natatorium environmental impact statement process, which is testing the task force’s recommendation: create a new memorial beach where the Natatorium now stands. This would involve rebuilding the three memorial arches 50 feet inland, and recreating groins to protect Kaimana and the new beach.

We favor this sensible $17 million plan for its obvious cost-effectiveness, preservation of free, open public shoreline, elimination of maintenance expenses, and two new acres of stable beach.

Rick Bernstein
Jim Bickerton
Kaimana Beach Coalition



City considers new alternatives for crumbling Waikiki Natatorium

KITV, June 22, 2016 / By Catherine Cruz - The Waikiki War Memorial was recently designated as a national treasure even though it has been closed for almost 50 years. Its last major face-lift was 16 years ago. Next week, the natatorium becomes the focus of a week-long series of meetings in an effort to decide what to do with it.
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Tearing down of the Natatorium stalled by city over state’s concerns

Honolulu Star-Advertiser, June 16, 2015 / By Gordon Y.K. Pang – The city's plan to tear down the Wai­kiki War Memorial Natatorium is being pushed back more than a year. Robert Kroning, the city's director of design and construction, said officials with the State Historic Preservation Division have asked that the city look into inserting into its draft environmental assessment a third possible "alternative" for the future of the long-contested plan.
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Remembering and Forgetting at The Waikiki War Memorial Park and Natatorium

This paper was written by historian Brian Ireland and published in The Hawaiian Journal of History, Volume 39 in 2005. His extensive research found that during World War I only eight Hawai‘i residents actually died by enemy action overseas. He examines the memorial's contentious, colonialist beginnings and questionable symbolism within its historical context.
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Let’s Face It: Natatorium Arch Is Ugly

MidWeek: Politics: Just Thoughts, September 24, 2014 / By Bob Jones – I just don’t understand the reasoning by those who say we cannot demolish Waikiki Natatorium because it was erected as a memorial to World War I soldiers from here. I mean, we’re not suggesting tearing down the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or unearthing the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl. This is … well, let’s approach it honestly: It’s a rather unattractive cement arch.
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Redevelopment of Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial gains traction

Pacific Business News July 23, 2014 / Duane Shimogawa – The project to redevelop the Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial, which includes creating a new beach fronted by a replica World War I memorial arch that could cost more than $18 million, is gaining some traction. The City and County of Honolulu recently submitted a 141-page final environmental assessment and environmental impact statement preparation notice done by Aiea-based WCP Inc., to the state.
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